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Saturday, July 15, 2006

Betrayal

I have a rather intense feeling of betrayal at the moment; and so I'm going to blog about it for lack of any better way to vent my frustrations.

I officially started classes again on Wednesday. I have only one class, and that's a good thing because I'm going to need to do some serious studying for this class. It's actually something I don't know much about. ACCOUNTING! Not the most attractive aspect of the business world, imo, but a necessary one.

Like I said, class officially started Wednesday, but I dug around and found our first assignment and started my reading on Monday. I feel less guilty about that (the digging, not the reading), because the link was up and ready by the time I checked back that same day. So, I started early and it's a good thing, because I learned from the first chapter that almost everything I thought I knew about accounting was wrong. Granted, my view of accounting was basically people "crunching" numbers concerning other people's money (something I definitely didn't want to do), which was right. It's just what that "crunching" entails that I had over-simplified to a great degree. Accounting is a challenging field, and probably wouldn't be boring for someone who cared more about numbers than I.

However, the betrayal comes in when I get to my assignment. See, I read my two chapters, I made flash cards, re-read them, took notes, did most of the review material at the end of the chapters, went through the "lectures" (PowerPoint presentations) twice, and took notes on them...basically, I studied a lot more than I usually have to do.

And I went to do the assignment...

A good third of it was totally foreign to me. The instructor gave some tips and clues imbedded in the assignment itself, but still. I figure that if I'm asked to do an assignment, then I should have had the opportunity (and the directions to do so) to have learned the material in advance. I mean, that seems like common sense, right? But that isn't the worst of it.

After doing the assignment, and writing a complaint to the teacher along with my submission, I decided, what the heck, I'd take the quiz. Now, for myself, I think using notes, hand-outs, and looking in the textbook is cheating. I don't care if it's "allowed," which it is at Herzing; I just don't see the point of taking a test if you're going to be using materials other than your own brain to "prove" you learned something.

In that sense, I had to "cheat" on the test, because it was all material that we hadn't learned, i.e. been directed to study and been taught in the "lectures." To say I'm pissed is a bit of an understatement at this point. The consolation that I got all the questions right because I found out that the material we had not studied, as per our reading and lectures, was all in the review hand-outs I happened to read before I took the quiz (but only after I turned in the homework). I mean, how is it review, if you haven't actually viewed it the first time yet.

Well, anyway, it's done now. I worked my way through an assignment that required me to know things I hadn't been taught and I took a stupid test that doesn't prove anything other than the fact that I know how to read a hand-out written up in Excel. Now, I have my weekend free to get caught up on other things...again.

15 Comments:

At 7/15/2006 11:33 AM, Blogger David Schantz said...

I'm glad it's you that is back in school and taking accounting and not me. I'd be doing good to get a checking account to work out right. My wife takes care of that, for two reasons. 1. I don't like doing it, even though I can. 2. My hand writing would make it impossible for anyone other than me to know what it said on the check. As far as the betrayal thing goes. I think sometimes teachers/instructors set us up for surprises that could bite us some time down the road. They do things to show us that things will not always turn out as we expected. You might even remember this "Betrayal" and wish you could thank the instructor at some time in the future.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

 
At 7/15/2006 6:57 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

I've learned that lesson many times before, David. My life is a lesson in "things will not always turn out as expected." And I will grant, that now that I have had a good night's sleep, I probably wouldn't use the word "betrayal" quite as readily, but that's what I was feeling last night.

All in all, this is a good course, but I still am very much disappointed that in the discussion she said, "Don't worry about normal balances. We'll cover that next week." Yet the entire quiz was not only about normal balances, but the screwwy way debits and credits are flip-flopped. I wonder if she even realized.

 
At 7/16/2006 3:51 PM, Anonymous And Another Thing said...

Stephanie: What would happen if a college taught people to swim? I think the incidents of drowning would drastically increase. I remember the first two years of college as learning how to take tests. College is supposed to be about learning how to learn...but that is not possible if you are frustrated by silly zig and zags of those 'already in the know.'

I know you will persevere, and in the end you will find that you will learn a lot DESPITE what a lot of 'teachers' do.

 
At 7/16/2006 4:55 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Oh, I'm definitely learning. The phrase "crunching numbers" is taking on a new, less-boring meaning for me. Accounting is actually mentally challenging in a way that goes beyond basic mathematics -- who would thunk it!?!

I mean, c'mon, accounting actually has a point? That's a genuine surprise!
;-)

 
At 7/16/2006 4:55 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Can't tell I prefer words to numbers can you.
:-D

 
At 7/17/2006 5:23 AM, Blogger Steve said...

Stephanie,

Check your e-mail

 
At 7/17/2006 8:52 PM, Blogger historymike said...

Couple of thoughts:

1. Any undergraduate instructor whose quizzes and tests do not reflect the material in the texts and lectures is a puts, and should be beaten. Hard.

2. I absolutely HATED accounting when I took it as a 19-year-old, "I hate school," punk. I later became a business owner, and learned REAL accounting. While I didn't love real-life accounting, it made a lot more sense than the sterile, divorced-from-reality version I learned in college.

3. You seem like a words person, Steph, but accountants at least can find steady work.

 
At 7/17/2006 11:28 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Steve,

Your wish is my command. Well, not as a general rule, but this time I suppose I can comply.
;-)

But, I just got done reading "Democracy in America(1)" by Alexis de Tocqueville, or TacoBell as my husband calls him, and don't think I'm ready to tackle another political/historical book. Especially one by an author who's accused of being an anti-American American historian. Besides, I have a distinct dis-trust for those who wish to re-write history.

(1)Which, btw Mike, was 1: informative in a weird sort of way, once I filtered out the aristocratic superiority, but 2: not a fun read. Granted, college is a factor, but still...It never takes me two and a half months to read a book. I can and have read the entire Bible faster than that. I mean, I'm glad I read it and did use it, but still...icky.

 
At 7/17/2006 11:36 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Historymike (the same Mike referenced in the above comment),

1. Beating is a bit extreme, considering she is actually within the classroom area at predictable times (which my first instructor wasn't) and can answer our questions, both subject related and system related (which my second instructor could not), and so that kind of makes me like her. Now, if this is an on-going thing...then I'll reconsider the beatings. But, in her defense, she has seven weeks to teach us a semester's worth of material, and the first week was only three days long. So, I can almost understand/forgive the oversight.

2. Accounting is the first class I am taking that has anything to do with my major, so in that sense I kind of like it, not because of itself perse, but because it's part of what I chose to pay for. Besides, I'm a far cry from an "I hate school" punk. I actually like school -- it's much easier to be among the best of the best there than in the real world.

3. Well, the good news is that with this degree I will be qualified as a entry-level accountant (which I now know is an accounting clerk), if I can get a job more to my liking. It's work I'll know I can do once I get through the course-work at the very least.

But, in the end, I guess I can't complain too much, considering I got 100% on all three graded portions for week one. Technically I couldn't have done better even had I known what I was doing. And, it all did make sense after reading chapter three. I just hope she didn't do it again this week.

 
At 7/17/2006 11:52 PM, Blogger d.a.n said...

Accounting is a tough subject, based on all the people I know that took it and complained about it.
Sounds like your teacher is not organizing the lectures and homework very well.

 
At 7/17/2006 11:52 PM, Blogger d.a.n said...

Accounting is a tough subject, based on all the people I know that took it and complained about it.
Sounds like your teacher is not organizing the lectures and homework very well.

 
At 7/17/2006 11:53 PM, Blogger d.a.n said...

Sorry for the double post.
Did you get your window/bumper stickers ?

 
At 7/18/2006 12:50 AM, Blogger David Schantz said...

Congratulations on the 100%.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

 
At 7/19/2006 7:10 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Dan,

"Did you get your window/bumper stickers ?"

Yes. But, I've been so busy that I haven't remembered to wash my window so I can put it up...at least not during the daylight, or when it's not raining (like now).

I knew balancing everything was going to be a feat, but I don't think I realized how difficult it would be. Still, I'm plugging away at it.

David,

Thank you. I also learned, last week, that you do not need to get 100% in your class to get a 4.0 GPA...all you need is As. So, that made me happy.

 
At 6/10/2007 10:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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